• New Rules and Fees for LMIA-Exempt Foreign Workers
  • March 20, 2015 | Author: Melanie C. Samuels
  • Law Firm: Singleton Urquhart LLP - Vancouver Office
  • Beginning February 21, 2015, employers who employ foreign workers who are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment ("LMIA") process, including those in Canada under NAFTA or the Canada-Chile / Canada-Peru / Canada-Colombia Agreements, will be required to:
    • Submit information to Citizenship and Immigration Canada ("CIC") about their business or organization;
    • Provide CIC with an Offer of Employment form; and
    • Pay a new fee to CIC.
    As of February 21st, LMIA-exempt foreign nationals will not be able to get an employer-specific work permit issued if the employer has not submitted the required information and/or paid the fee BEFORE the work permit application is submitted. Foreign nationals presenting at a Canadian port of entry under NAFTA or one of the LMIA-exempt agreements will no longer automatically receive a work permit - unless and until the employer has provided the information and paid the fee.

    The new employer compliance fee of $230 must be paid online. The fees will be used to offset the costs relating to enhanced employer compliance inspections. Non-compliant employers could face a monetary penalty, a ban on hiring foreign workers and, in serious cases, criminal investigation and prosecution.

    NOTE: The employer compliance fee does NOT apply to employers hiring foreign nationals who have open work permits.

    The new fee of $100 for open work permit applications will also come into effect February 21st and must be paid at the same time as the work permit processing fee ($155).

    Open work permits under the International Mobility Program include working holiday portions of the International Experience Class program, Post-Graduate Work Permits, spouses/common-law partners of higher-skilled foreign workers, and international students, as well as certain foreign nationals currently in Canada waiting on finalization of their permanent residence applications.